GOP candidate declared winner in Virginia state House race, Republicans will gain control of chamber

A close race last month triggered a recount from which the GOP candidate emerged victorious

Updated: December 3, 2021 - 1:12pm

A panel of judges overseeing the recount in a contested Virginia delegate race ruled Friday to uphold the victory of Republican Karen Greenhalgh's win last month. The delayed victory means the GOP will assume control of the chamber in January.

The recount took place in the state's 85th district, which includes a parts of Virginia Beach. It was requested by Democrat Alex Askew following certified results from the November election that showed him trailing Greenhalgh by just 127 votes. Askew gained 12 votes in the recount, not enough to make him the winner.

The recount was one of two requested by Democratic candidates in General Assembly races, from which Republicans emerged with 52 state House districts and Democrats with 48.

The second recount is scheduled for next week, but Greenhalgh's victory ensures GOP dominance in the House, which the party lost in 2019.

Democrats will remain in control of the Virginia state Senate, in which they hold a 21-19 majority. The November election, however, proved disastrous for Virginia Democrats, who lost both the state House and the governor's mansion, in what some are viewing as an early indication of how 2022 elections might play out.